London (Sep. 24)
Authorative quarters today stressed that they “don’t believe for a moment” in the truth of a report circulated by Reuters that the British Government has decided to refer the whole issue of Palestine and of Jewish immigration to the United Nations Organization with a statement that this is a responsibility that all the Allies must share in common.
The same quarters told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency officially that there is still a “complete blackout” with regard to the government’s policy on Palestine. This blackout will probably be lifted only by an announcement which Prime Minister Attlee himself is expected to make, they emphasized.
(The Reuter report also stated that British Government circles are displeased with President Truman’s letter urging the admission of 100,000 displaced Jews from Europe to Palestine. It added that the British Cabinet had proposed to Truman that the United States should share the responsiblity with Britain of settling the Palestine problem, but the U.S. authorities turned down the offer; therefore Britain will announce that for the time being Jewish immigration to Palestine will be limited to 1,500 persons a month, and that this is a stop-gap policy until the United Nations Organization makes a decision.)
The Machester Guardian, one of Britain’s leading newspapers, today says that President Truman’s request for the immediate admission of 100,000 Jews to Palestine “cannot honestly be said to be a helpful contribution to the solution of the Palestine problem,” because it would mean the repeal of the White Paper.
“This will have to be done sooner or later,” the paper writes, “but it cannot be done without substituting something in its place. It is absurd to imagine that the British Government could comply with Truman’s request as a temporary expedient which the Arabs would not notice and which would not affect the final decision. Certain modifications might be made and should be made now, but the only solution is a new and final policy which will settle the problem of Palestine for good.”
Admitting the urgency of helping displaced European Jews who desire to go to Palestine, the Guardian proposes an alternative emergency measure of separating the Jews from other displaced persons and granting them self-government, and also encouraging vocational training among them. “If they felt that their conditions were tolerable and their life was not entirely wasted, they would be more content to wait with patience for a decision which will safeguard their future in Palestine and elsewhere,” the eidtorial says.